Friday, August 1, 2014

Four-Sentence MIFF Reviews #1-2: Life Itself, Irma Vep

Yes folks, it's that glorious time of year (otherwise known as about the only time I post on this blog any more), where I get to go to 13 films at the Melbourne Film Festival and post a review of each one in four sentences. You know what they say: "slightly longer than a tweet - it's the way of the future."

Life Itself (Steve James)

An intimate documentary following film critic Roger Ebert in his final months of life, stretching back to cover his life, career, family and contemporaries.
The impact of Ebert's film criticism cannot be overestimated, but in this funny and moving documentary I also learned more about the circle his life encompassed: his friends, family, colleagues, and his perfect fit for the time he was born in.
It's a deeply emotional portrait of a man facing death, which left me holding it together (for the most part) but still shaking with emotion.
And the answer to why on earth a man like Ebert decided to write Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and work with Russ Meyer: "Boobs".

Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)

Maggie Cheung is flown to Paris to work with an unstable avant garde film director; nobody is entirely sure why.
There's interest and amusement in the chaotic scenes of film-making, but I found my attention drifting in and out over the course of the film, and overall it doesn't quite seem to make full use of the story it's trying to tell.
Also: if you're going to cat-burgle someone, a latex catsuit is the noisiest possible outfit you could choose to wear.
On the upside: Maggie Cheung in a latex catsuit.

No comments: